CHICAGO (AP) — After days of protests in Chicago since the release of a video showing a black teenager shot 16 times by a white police officer, demonstrators were poised to disrupt Black Friday shopping with a march through the heart of the city’s most famous retail district.

Demonstrators scheduled the march on Friday, the traditional beginning of the holiday shopping season that packs Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile. Activists hope to bring attention to the Oct. 20, 2014, slaying of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and an investigation into his shooting that some say was mishandled.

“This is going to give an opportunity for all of Chicago to come out, demonstrate their outrage and their anger in a nonviolent way, (and) interrupt the economic engine of Black Friday,” said the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Roman Catholic priest and prominent local activist.

The graphic dashcam video that shows McDonald being shot repeatedly by Officer Jason Van Dyke was released Tuesday, the same day Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder. He’s been ordered held without bond.

In recent days, there has been talk that marchers taking part in the Black Friday protest would engage in acts of civil disobedience, such as blocking store entrances to prevent shoppers from getting inside. On Thursday, one of the march’s leaders, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, said no such acts were planned, but they could happen.

“Some people may do that, I don’t know,” Jackson said.

Jessie Davis, of the group Stop Mass Incarceration Network, said there have been calls on social media for people to engage in civil disobedience, and Charlene Carruthers, national director of the activist group Black Youth Project 100, would not rule out acts such actions.

Pfleger said he thinks the march itself will cost businesses money because the publicity surrounding it will discourage shoppers from even venturing into the area.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many people would turn out. But there were indications that it would be a bigger crowd than the other marches and rallies, which so far have attracted anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred demonstrators.

“I expect this will be bigger than the others. Maybe the number (of marchers) will be in the thousands,” Davis said.

All previous marches have been largely peaceful. There have been isolated clashes between police and protesters, with about 10 arrests and only a few minor reports of property damage. The police have allowed protesters to march in the middle of the street and even hold rallies in the middle of intersections, and on Thursday the department said it would handle Friday’s march much the same way.

Throughout the week, protesters have expressed anger over the video of the shooting. They’ve also harshly criticized the department for its months-long effort to prevent the video from being released and the state’s attorney’s office for taking more than a year to file charges against the officer, despite having footage of the incident.

Van Dyke’s attorney has said the officer feared for his life when he fired at McDonald and that the case should be tried in the courtroom, not in social media or on city streets.

Van Dyke and other officers were responding to a report of a teen with a knife who had been breaking into cars on the night McDonald was shot.

The video released Tuesday shows McDonald jogging down a street and then veering away from Van Dyke and another officer who emerge from a police SUV drawing their guns. Within seconds, Van Dyke begins firing. McDonald spins around and falls to the pavement as Van Dyke keeps shooting.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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13 thoughts on “Protest Over Chicago Teen’s Shooting Set For Retail District

  1. Church Girl on said:

    I don’t know who you commenters are, but for the millionth time….as a Chicagoan I can say that we do march and protest when black people are killed by other blacks. It just doesn’t get the same media attention. Secondly, yes the response is completely different when another young black person is murdered by the police because the police are paid by our tax dollars to protect and serve us. It’s ignorant to compare the police to gang bangers (I think). Gangs are out of control and they have seemingly easy access to guns. They are cold and heartless. They kill with no remorse. We don’t expect this same kind of treatment from the police, hence the outrage. I don’t understand why so many people don’t get this! (Especially black people)

  2. Mac Ben on said:

    Why not protest, march and act a fool at the police headquarters, City Hall, or Courthouse!? The retail district has NOTHING to do with this bullsht. What is wrong with these BLM fools? Pissing off the common citizen is only turning people off their cause.

  3. How sad is it criminals high on drugs etc keep getting marches? How sad is it these broke marching fools keep making the families of these criminals rich? How sad is it a 9 year old boy could be lured into an alley executed and we march for no shopping in honor of a criminal? When will the dems be voted out of office? I’ve had enough of hoping the man I voted for stop race baiting against police and ignoring his own city of skyrocketing crime!!! We’re a sad pathetic people. Glad most of my child’s friends said no marching here in B more for criminals after Jazmine Wright’s death!!! A lot of collegiate athletes knew this intelligent sister slaughtered….

    • Church Girl on said:

      You totally missed the point. Laquan McDonald was high and punctured a tire. So you believe that he deserved to be shot 16 times for it?! Please wake up and stop drinking the cool aid!!! You sound like you would agree with what happened to Emmett Till too.

  4. Funny the racist pig Obama said nothing about the subhumans who murdered the pastors wife. Blacks have been pumped through the system for years with no end in site. Affirmative action, the reverand al sharpton, all crucial pieces of the caste system whose only goal is to silence white people and eventually lead to their own genocide!

  5. Does Black Lives Matter only when a white police officer is
    involved??? There is black on black crime all day everyday. We
    don’t protest about that. Nothing has changed and no one
    else is to blame but ourselves.

  6. Uncle G on said:

    It is absolutely appalling that the manifestation of hatred for Black Americans has to be seen by the assassination of Black teenager, Laquan McDonald. The video of his murder by a
    cowardly white police officer is more than disturbing. What kind of person would shot an
    unarmed and non-threatening person who happens to be Black and a child? Who could
    have such a lack of decency and humanity except the pure racist coward police officer,
    Jason Van Dyke? The problem is this is not an isolated incident but, a nation-wide on-going,
    systemic problem of the police culture of brutality and disregard for Black lives.
    The so-called city and state leaders, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Police Superintendent, McCarthy and prosecutor, Anita Alvarez are culpable for allowing a Chicago Police officer
    to think that it was OK for him to shot and kill a Black teenager who was non-threatening 16 times—–then lie about the incident afterward and get away with it for a year. They all need to be fired. All of them are phonies who have disregarded Black lives long enough!

    • You do realize Mr. McDonald had a knife, correct? That means he was not unarmed. Also, while a 17-year-old has not reached the age of majority, it’s disingenuous to refer to Mr. McDonald as “a child.”

      I, too, find the video disturbing and look forward to the trial. It is important, though, to be factual while outraged.

    • Hey blackboy, you do understand that 90 percent of interracial crime is black on white. For every instance like this I will find you ten in the reverse you racist black pig! You have some never!

  7. Between now and the end the the year , every day on the weekend there should be major marches in Chicago’s retail district as well as other cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland to protest police assault on blacks. Then when retailers do not realize big holiday sales, police will final be compelled to stop being judge, jury and executioner on the streets. Money talks. It talked during the bus boycott during the civil rights movement. And it sure can do the same now.

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